This module is all about making videos. We're going to be looking at making videos, editing them, and sharing them - the whole process, and we're going to go through some real examples together.
The first lesson in module three is all about the planning and process of making a video.
So what we want is something that's simple and repeatable, some simple steps that we can just follow and know that we're going to get a good result at the end of it.
The process I recommend is just three steps:
Record and edit might seem obvious, but we're going to go into those in more detail in the lessons later in this module. Planning is what we're going to talk about in a bit more detail in this lesson. It might seem like an unnecessary step, but it's what makes the rest of the process – recording and editing – much easier.
If you can follow these three steps and the details that we're going to get into later in this module, you can repeat that process over again, and recording videos is not going to feel like a chore.
It's just going to become a simple task that you can do every day or as often as you need.
Planning is usually the most important part because it sets the tone for the rest of the process. Planning doesn't mean that you need to spend a lot of time doing it.
Like me, I am a terrible planner and I don't like planning and try to avoid it as much as possible. But I think a lot of my dislike for planning has probably come from thinking that it's a big task or a big part of the process.
Planning just gives you a chance to make sure your thoughts are clear and you know what you're doing. And once you're kind of at that point, you can move on to the actual doing part.
The first part of a plan is to decide who the video is for. It's really easy to just start making a video because you kind of have the vague idea of like, I need a new product demo
But if you can work out at least in your head, but ideally on paper like who the video is for, who's the audience? Is it just one customer, or is it a bunch of customers? Is it a certain group of customers? Is it all of your followers?
If you can work that out then that kind of makes it clearer what the next parts in the process are.
Then you want to look at what you're covering, what's actually in the video. So once you know who it's for, then you can decide what are you going to be talking about or showing. And then you can go another layer deeper, to think about the main scenes of your video.
If you're recording a video of your screen and camera, there's going to be stuff on your screen and you're going to be talking about things. And you can break that up into separate scenes.
So you could say in the first scene, it's just going to be an introduction. You're going to introduce yourself and explain what the video is about. In the second scene, you might start getting into a demonstration.
What are you going to demo in that first scene? How much detail are you going to go into then? Are you going to split your video up into separate scenes, one for each feature or one for each topic?
These are the kinds of things that you want to be working through, writing down, and planning.
In the third step, once you've kind of got your plan, you've worked out who it's for and what the general content is going to be, then you can get to more detail.
The first sort of layer of detail is a script. This is where you basically write out, it could be word for word, or it could be the talking points for everything you're going to cover in your video.
So if you head back and think about the main scenes, this will kind of give you kind of like the bullet points for what your video is going to cover. Then when you jump back to the script, that's where you can actually go into the detail and either work out what topics you're going to hit or write a full-on script.
Whether you work with talking points or write a word-for-word script is purely a matter of personal preference. Sometimes I will write a full-on script and then I won't actually read it. I'll write the script out as a way just to have the flow of the video in the back of my head.
So I'll write it out as if it's word-for-word, but then I will have that almost memorized, sort of etched into your head with what you're going to cover and that makes the process of recording a video and what to say a lot easier.
You can write it out word for word and then read it word for word using some kind of teleprompter software or the Notes app in a video recording software like Tella. Otherwise, you can just stick to talking points.
These are just going to be high-level bullet points. And then so long as you can stick to them and cover the content fairly concisely, that is also a really great way to plan and write out a script.
The third is to practice. I think a lot of people think that you just have to do one great take and once you've got that great take then you're done. In reality, it's fine to do a pretty good one and do it again and again. And by the fifth one, you've probably nailed it.
It's easy to think that that's a waste of time, but sometimes that is the best way to get good at making videos and to make a particular video good because you will have not just the points that you're trying to cover down and the flow of the video.
You'll figure out what makes the most sense when demoing and talking and getting used to that at the same time.
So practice is always a good thing. Sometimes you can nail it on the first go, and that's fine, but really, don't be afraid to rerecord and rerecord and try something again, until you get it the way you want it.
Now, the final part of planning is to prepare your content.
A script is sort of like the invisible content. It's the content that your viewers can't see because it's just stuff that you're saying. Whereas content is the visual content that your viewers will actually be looking at. It's what's going to be on screen.
If you are creating an online course or a presentation, then you'll need a slide deck as the visual cue. You can create your slide deck first and then write a script to match each of your slides.
Or you can do it the other way around where you have written out a script and then decide what you want on your slides. That is just a matter of personal preference when it comes to tools.
You can use something as traditional as PowerPoint, Google Slides, or you can use something more fancy like Pitch. You can even design your slides from scratch as images and just present them like that again.
It's whatever you're most comfortable with and whatever helps you express your ideas. But the key thing is preparing this and getting this all ready before you record and making sure it follows a nice story that you've worked out with your script.
The next thing with content is software setup. So if you're doing a tutorial or a demo, then you're showing someone how to do something in some kind of app and you want to be familiar with it.
So it's worth doing some preparation, making sure there are no weird settings that you're going to encounter along the way, and just making sure you've done a few test runs or, are familiar enough to know that there's going to be no hiccups along the way.
That'll save you from having to rerecord an unnecessary amount of time and just kind of get frustrated because demonstrating and talking at the same time can be a bit of a mental task.
You need to focus on doing both and nailing what you're saying and what you're showing on screen. The more familiar you can be with the software, the easier it's going to be. So make sure to check that one off as part of your preparation.
So that was the first lesson in module three, planning and process. I hope this gives you some idea about the importance of planning and preparation, some simple enough processes for you to follow, and the key bits of preparation that you'll need to do.
Make sure you've got your script, you've got your plan, and you've got all the content that you need. Whether that's the slides or the software that you're going to be demonstrating.
I'll see you in the next lesson when we start recording a video.